How co-living is filling a need in Asia

 —  Article by Serene Lim

The co-living concept is catching on in cities across Asia as rising property prices and a desire to connect with like-minded people lead Millennials to consider new accommodation models.

In China co-living is a popular choice for students and young professionals working in tech and creative industries looking for a mix of private and communal space.

“Co-living is a form of housing where residents share living space and a set of interests and values,” explains Myles Huang, Research Director of Capital Markets, JLL Asia Pacific. “It’s part of a modern, urban lifestyle that values openness and sharing, and is in line with the general shift toward ride-sharing/car-sharing and co-working.”

Chinese operator You+ already provides accommodation to over 10,000 people across its 25 branches, which includes spaces in cities like Chongqing and Guangzhou. In Beijing co-living spaces are clustered in the Haidan district where a few of the city’s top universities such as Tsinghua and Peking University as well the tech hub of Zhongguancun are located, bringing a diverse mix of young people together.

Meanwhile, over in Hong Kong, investment bankers and university students alike are opting for dormitory-style housing to get a space of their own in the city with most expensive housing costs in the world.

Huang adds: “Although pricings of co-living space are quite diverse, they are generally more affordable than a studio flat. The size of co-living space also compare favourably with small flats coming to the market – micro-apartments as small as 20 square meters are being marketed in Hong Kong.”

According to a recent JLL report, there are an estimated 58,500 young professionals living in the city, which is equivalent to 0.8 percent of the population, who will have housing demands. And this strong demand is encouraging budget and boutique hotel operators to consider building a presence in the co-living market to cater to them.

It’s a similar story elsewhere in Asia where rising rents and diminishing prospects of home ownership are weighing heavily on Millennials. In Singapore, a new start-up called Hmlet raised fresh funding of US$1.5 million in their efforts to build co-living spaces. With more young people looking for economical, practical and sociable solutions to their housing needs, founder Yoan Kamalski is confident the Lion City will also embrace the co-living trend.

Watch the video above to learn more about why China has taken to the co-living concept.

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